And I could never understand how these two forces, the light element of music and history’s heavy breath, coexisted.

Only what isn’t real. Sometimes I thought you could only really love what isn’t real: poems, paintings, the sounds of a piano drifting from the music academy, where a pianist, no longer young, a maestro, a stranger from another town, showed students how to play Chopin’s Fourth Ballade. Love only what isn’t real, but reality always resurfaced, in the shape of a trivial question about what to make for dinner (the ham’s gone, we’re out of tea), or in the form of menacing history: war’s broken out, mass demonstrations have paralyzed the city, inflation has imperceptibly changed the appearance of shops and streets (though it left Beethoven’s sonatas unscathed). And I could never understand how these two forces, the light element of music and history’s heavy breath, coexisted. I’ve tried to write about it more than once, but even the most dedicated readers have delicately hinted that they’ve had enough, let’s move on to something new, since these two worlds still cannot be reconciled or fused, they remain completely indifferent to my questions, they mock my inquiries, my worries, they likewise dismiss the protests of my scattered readers.

~ Adam Zagajewski, Slight Exaggeration: An Essay (April 4, 2017)


Notes:

Comments

  1. Is there such a thing as a Real.oholic?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nice

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liked by 1 person

  4. I am unclear on how he thinks he can only love what is not real. Seriously? Are there other people in his life? A partner? Children? A dog? Or is he referring to ‘things in the world,’ conditions? With which I would then agree – the ‘unreal’ realm being that of dreams, including art, the heart-child of dreams, which of course includes said sonatas. War is incongruous to this, it’s true. It is the Shadow side of humanity, and to deny it is simply that (denial). It is, of course, highly disturbing that humans make war. It’s unconscionable that humans abuse one another, animals, the environment. Thoughtless, careless, wantonly destructive impulses are never a joy to witness. Yet there you have it. We are all part of the same race of humans. Now to figure out how to reconcile these polarities within ourselves, the only part with which we hold any sway whatsoever. Personally I’m going to slide into a parallel reality in my next life, one where peace rules. We’ll see if that can be done 😉

    If I’ve not provided this link before, the last line reaches my own conclusion, “It’s a hell of a race to call men.” Amen to that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrUmnVlIqIE

    Liked by 1 person

    • I similarly turned over his thinking on the passage, and landed that how one is touched by music, art, poetry, as opposed the physicalness of it, the instrument, the canvas, the paper – and how fleeting that feeling can be from one moment to the next.

      And love your reality in your next life, one where peace rules.

      Powerful lyrics, thanks for sharing Bela. I’ve never heard of Mallet or the tune.

      You Say That the Battle Is Over

      Lyrics:David Mallett
      Music:David Mallett

      And you say that the battle is over,
      And you say that the war is all done-
      Go tell it to those with the wind in their nose
      Who run from the sound of the gun,
      And write it on the sides of the great whaling-ships,
      Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed-
      With the wild in their eyes, it is they who must die
      And it’s we who must measure the loss.

      And you say that the battle is over,
      And finally the world is at peace-
      You mean no one is dying, and mothers don’t weep,
      Or it’s not in the papers, at least.

      There are those who would deal in the darkness of life,
      There are those who would tear down the sun,
      And most men are ruthless, but some will still weep
      When the gifts we were given are gone.

      Now the blame cannot fall on the heads of a few,
      Find more lyrics at ※ Mojim.com
      It’s become such a part of the race;
      It’s eternally tragic for that which is magic
      To be killed at the end of the glorious chase.

      From young seals to great whales,
      From waters to woods,
      They will fall just like weeds in the wind;
      With fur coats, and perfumes, and trophies on walls:
      What a hell of a race to call men.

      And you say that the battle is over,
      And you say that the war is all done-
      Go tell it to those with the wind in their nose
      Who run from the sound of the gun.
      And write it on the sides of the great whaling-ships,
      Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed;
      With the wild in their eyes, it is they who must die,
      And it’s we who must measure the loss.

      With the wild in their eyes, it is they who must die,
      And it’s we who must measure the cost.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Liked by 1 person

  6. Mallet’s lyrics are amazing.
    ❤ Thanks for sharing the post, and the song.
    I find it difficult to comprehend how man – can be so enlightened and giving, breathtakingly noble and courageous – but also the same species, able to sink to vile unbelievable acts. it is hard to understand indeed, how those two forces, coexist. In man.

    Liked by 1 person

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